Portland lawmakers neglect Portland in paid sick leave
By Taxpayer Association of Oregon
The paid sick leave law, SB 454, has been voted out of committee, and it appears that Portland got the worst out of the deal as voted on by Portland’s own politicians. The bill, SB 454, forces small businesses with 10 or more employees to provide five days paid sick leave and is expected to cost businesses nearly a half billion dollars a year.
The bill preempts Eugene’s paid leave law, which applies to all business sizes. Yet the same bill did not preempt Portland’s paid leave law, which applies to businesses with 6 or more employees. By doing this, lawmakers have created another Portland-penalty for running a family business within the city. Notice that this Portland-penalty applies only to the smaller and more vulnerable of the businesses. It is bewildering that liberal lawmakers considered that Eugene small business owners were worth protecting but not Portland business owners. It is a double standard that smaller mom-and-pop shops will pay dearly for in Portland.
Not everyone was for the paid sick leave law. The bill passed out of committee on a party-line vote with all Democrat lawmakers supporting the costly new law and all Republican lawmakers in opposition. One of the opponents of the paid leave mandate was State Senator Chuck Thomsen. Senator Thomsen walked out of the hearing saying, “I’m not feeling very well. So I’m going to take a sick day.”